Life doesn’t just grow you up and leave you there, it keeps beating you into different shapes, like the cliffs.

The people of Carrick have been whispering behind Neen’s back for most of her life; ever since her father drowned and her mother disappeared. The townspeople say her mother was a merrow who has returned to her real home in the ocean. But if the villagers are right, then what does this make Neen? This pitiless summer, all the talk will end in trouble. All Neen wants is the truth.

Merrow is the first book set in the Secrets of Carrick universe and plunges young adult fiction readers into the magical world of mermaids and Celtic mythology. Australian author Ananda Braxton-Smith weaves a multi-layered tale of sea-nymphs and self-discovery in this literary fantasy. Teen girls will love this novel and devour the others in the series, Tantony and Ghostheart.

Finalist in the Young Adult Fiction category of the 2010 Aurealis Awards and a 2011 Notable book at the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards.

“Exquisite. A beautiful, lush, haunting story – one that stays with the reader long after the last word is read.” Magpies

“Ananda Braxton-Smith’s tales propel readers into worlds with a vivacity and rawness, illuminating horror and beauty.” Magpies

“Lush, rich and achingly beautiful.” The Courier Mail

“The world of Carrick is stark and beautiful, cruel and magical, encircled by the unforgiving sea. From the opening sentence, I entered the cave of this story willingly, bewitched by the eerie poetry of Ananda’s words, and stepped out encrusted in salt, gritty with sand, and haunted.” Carole Wilkinson


Ananda Braxton-Smith is a journalist and children's author. She has written several titles for Black Dog Books, including a series for older readers, the Secrets of Carrick. The first two books in the series, Merrow and Tantony, were Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Books in 2011 and 2012, in addition to being finalists in the Young Adult Fiction category of the 2010 and 2011 Aurealis Awards.


A notable story that is as wondrous as it is fulfilling.

Larissabookgirl Blog

A skillful blend of myth, legend and superstition, Braxton-Smith has created a tale of exceptional beauty. This story will not only appeal to teenage girls, but to anyone who is interested in traditional folklore.

Buzzwords Magazine

Exquisite. A beautiful, lush, haunting story – one that stays with the reader long after the last word is read.


Merrow perfectly captures the rocky, chaotic journey that coming of age can be.

Fiction Focus


Aurealis Awards, Best Young Adult Novel
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